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On Seeing a Green Racer
Grace Hughes Chappell

Frogs, deer, toads, rattlers,
dogs, anyone may employ
the byway of this lane.

August thirteen, 04,
tall grass, hot, dry, now I am
there, sun at my back,

walking-thinking snake-
words: serpents, adders, slith’ring
asps, their beauty marks,
When … hey! You there! You,
you, whip-like Elegance, your
tongue crimsonly cogitating!
Not for you a rattler’s
intricacies of concealment:
To strike/not to strike.
You, green Paragon
of Length—you, moving Mark of

I’ll wait here for you.
“Please, you, go first. After you—
I’m in no hurry.”

© by Grace Hughes Chappell.
Used with the author’s permission.



Grace Hughes Chappell says, over the years, she’s been a mom, a daughter, and a sister, has taken care of ‘things’ (house repairs, car repairs, relationship repairs), worked as a private tutor, an English teacher, a travel agent, a receptionist, a telephone book delivery-person, a house cleaner, a reader to the visually impaired, a caterer, a snow-shoveler, and a writer. Her work is widely published and she is the author of ten mile creek almanac. For 50-some years, Grace and her husband, Don, have lived in northern California, in Mendocino County, and in San Francisco but, as of 2024, they have relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to be near family. Grace's advice for a good life is to be kind, enjoy your family and friends, don’t be a drag (laugh a lot, sing, dance, do anything
that involves music), read a lot, learn to cook a decent meal, watch sunsets and birds and dogs, find something to do for which you have some aptitude, then be willing to work hard at it!

Post New Comment:
Alice Rosenthal:
Holds you still to capture the rich intimacies of the moment. Fresh and wonderful imagery. This is how to love a piece of the earth. Alice Rosenthal
Posted 08/14/2013 12:51 PM
I can relate! Good poem, too.
Posted 08/13/2013 11:57 AM
Fresh language. Love it.
Posted 08/13/2013 09:31 AM

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